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  Bright Half Life at Theater Wit

Bright Half Life

Theater Wit
1229 W Belmont Ave Chicago

Winner of the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Best Play, BRIGHT HALF LIFE charts the complexity of commitment, relationships, and marriage as it follows the ups and downs of a modern lesbian couple. Their story is told through a series of fast-moving, fragmented memories - from elevator rides as strangers to steamy workplace romances to heartache to building a family.

Presented by About Face Theatre

Thru - Jul 1, 2017

Price: $20-$40

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-975-8150

  Bright Half Life Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...In her chronological scramble of scenes, Barfield sometimes suggests growth. Not so often. As its title suggests, "Bright Half Life" leaves you with the nagging sense that maybe marriage is outdated, or at least needs refiguring to accommodate how people change. And if, like me, you resist that conclusion, it surely reveals the fortitude required to keep moving forward. Oh, and if you're single? Buy a ticket and see why."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Bright Half Life is one in a long line of plays that mince a story's chronology and tease out important information in fleeting moments, but few achieve the realism, comprehensibility, and emotional arc created here by Fromm's directorial precision and performances that are simultaneously raw and polished. William Boles and Christine Binder's minimal yet clarifying set and lighting design help keep the profound cerebral themes grounded and visceral, and McCain and Ledo intrigue and engage from curtain to whiteout."
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Dan Jakes

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...The most remarkable thing about Bright Half Life is how natural it all feels. There's just enough details about each's background to suggest the shape of their conflicts and intimacy. Barfield's language is more pedestrian than poetic, but the actresses trade words in the rhythm of well-worn memory. The same goes for physicality. Arguments-and every conversation between these two is intense enough to be a potential argument-are heightened by little twists of lips and eyeball flips. Longer scenes, such as the couple's first date whereupon Vicky takes a very terrified Erica on a Ferris wheel, get enriched by the same excellent physicality, clenched hands and clamped knees. Their suggested intimacy is quietly gorgeous, a sinuous dance between the actresses' two bodies that is not exaggerated much, but simply allowed to be beautiful."
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Liz Baudler

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The playwright’s non-linear shuffling of scenes cleverly enhances their impact in the way she chooses juxtapositions and repetitions—such as the recurring themes of Vicky’s desire to try skydiving and Erica’s fear of heights. Ledo and McClain fully inhabit these lovely characters and their romance, under Keira Fromm’s lucid, light-handed direction. With warmth and honesty, Bright Half Life suggests that no matter the outcome of jumping into a relationship, you can’t un-jump—nor should you want to."
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Kris Vire

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The combination of the smart writing and the terrific stage and the fabulous acting make Bright Half Life as gem of a theatricak experience. This is one of the best shows of the year. Get to Theater Wit to ride alonf with Vicky and Erica as they remember events from their lives. You’ll be reminded of memories in your life."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...About Face Theatre Company is one that creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous theatre programming that advances the national dialogue on sexual and gender identity, challenging audiences to be educated and entertained at the same time. This is a paraphrasing of their "Mission", which is served to perfection with their latest production, "Bright Half Life" now on stage at Theater Wit (stage two)."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...What lifts the play from cliché is its form, in which the story is told in brief flashes that buffet its protagonists in the surges and whirlpools of time, jolting the audience through a series of rapid-fire emotional states that make the highs and lows flicker like the frames of an old film. Ledo and McClain rise to the occasions. As Erica, Ledo is a ham whose swagger belies her fragility. McClain’s restraint reflects Vicky’s borderline cis qualities and her desire to succeed on capitalist terms.,
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Irene Hsiao

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...This beautiful, nonlinear play is a story of courtship, burgeoning love, marriage and everything that lies between and beyond. It demonstrates, more than almost any other LGBT drama, that love is simply love, and it doesn’t matter who’s involved. This might’ve been about a man and woman, or even two men; but Tanya Barfield’s touching, insightful, often humorous drama is about a lesbian couple. Erica and Vicky each have their own individual strengths and weaknesses that contribute to this romantic story. They’re a likable couple of strong women, a partnership in every way, played with honesty by two astoundingly talented actresses, under the direction of a gifted director. This is a particularly great piece of theatre and a must-see to kick off Chicago’s Gay Pride Month."
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Colin Douglas

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...The writing is subtle and moving. It is pure dialogue with very little action. If you desire a night of suspense or thrills, this is not the show for you. If witty realism and stellar performances give you a thrill, you will find joy in this production."
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Stephanie Dykes

  Bright Half Life Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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